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Last published on August 19th, 2017

When Peter called me up to enquire about a private cooking class for his family and two teenage kids I was excited as it’s been a while since I’ve formally taught a cooking class. They wanted a to learn some vegetarian dishes as well as a fish dish (being kosher) as well as getting lots of tips on Indian spices and technique.

So off I went on a Saturday morning armed with recipe sheets, my handy spice box, curry leaves, coriander and the rest of my ingredients.

The menu I taught was:

Goan fish curry
Lunch is served
  • Spicy Goan fish curry
  • Tadka dal
  • Crispy matchstick okra
  • Cumin rice
  • Beetroot raita

The first thing we started with was an introduction to spices, flavours and essential ingredients when cooking Indian food. Then we tackled the dishes and first up was the fish curry and like one does in India, the head and tail were added to give maximum flavour!

We moved on to the stuffed peppers which had two steps: preparing the peppers and the mustard seed potato mix which was stuffed into the cooked peppers.

The next dish of crispy fried okra was met with hesitation. ‘Isn’t it slimy?’ the son asked? They had never eaten it fried and absolutely loved it crispy! By the time I removed them from the hot oil, the family devoured it! I’m so pleased I had converted them!

We then did the lentils and I demonstrated how to clean and soak the lentils which not only removes the gas from the lentils but reduces cooking time. The tadka of garlic, chilli and cumin was an exciting experience for them to watch the spices tumble into the hot oil and sizzle before being thrown into the dal.

And just before the family sat down to their Indian feast, we whipped up some beetroot raita and some hot, steamed cumin rice to accompany their lunch.

It was so wonderful to teach again and nothing gives me more pleasure than empowering others through education and skills.

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Private cooking class August 19th